Did early humans in Africa interbreed with a mysterious, extinct species?

New research suggests that early humans in Africa interbred with a ghost population that likely split from the ancestors of humans and Neanderthals between 360,000 and 1.02 million years ago.

Happy birthday, Nicolaus Copernicus

In 1543, Copernicus tried to show the world that medieval beliefs of an enclosed, Earth-centered universe were wrong. Instead, he said, Earth revolves around the sun. His work set off what’s known today as the Copernican Revolution.

An image of bluish space, with streaks of sunlight crossing it, and with a single dot - Earth - within one of the sunbeams.

Today, 30th anniversary of the Pale Blue Dot

On February 14, 1990, the Voyager 1 spacecraft acquired one of the most iconic images ever taken from space, an image of our planet Earth seen from Saturn. The image is now known as the Pale Blue Dot.

For you, Valentine: 10 reasons we fall in love

On this Valentine’s Day 2020, what the world of science suggests about the mystery we call love.

Snow-covered mountaintop with people.

Himalayan glacier shows evidence of start of Industrial Revolution

Human beings altered one of the highest peaks in the Himalayas hundreds of years before a person ever set foot there, new research has found.

The Science Love Song

An oldie but goodie – bizarrely heart-warming – from the guys at ASAPScience.

Today is Chuck Yeager’s 97th birthday

Chuck Yeager, first pilot to break the sound barrier, personified what it meant to have “the right stuff.”

Huge monolithic stone statues lined up against blue sky.

New timeline rewrites history of Easter Island collapse

Easter Island society did not collapse prior to European contact, and its people continued to build its iconic moai statues for much longer than previously believed, according to a team of researchers.

Panda eating a piece of bamboo.

Save the giants, save the planet

Protecting large animals such as elephants and whales, and large plants like the sequoias, has a disproportionate positive impact on the health of the planet and resilience to climate change.

Photo of a white-breasted nuthatch

Great Backyard Bird Count begins February 14

Show your love for birds by joining the 2020 Great Backyard Bird Count. It is free and easy to participate in this 4-day global event. Find out how here.

Study examines effects of nuclear war on Earth’s oceans

Researchers concluded that even a contained nuclear conflict would take a toll on Earth’s oceans and potentially disrupt the human food web. “The impacts are huge,” a scientist said.

A crooked oval of blue-white light with red squiggles on top and bottom.

Make your own galaxy image with NASA’s Astrophoto Challenges

Open through February 29, the contest lets you use real astronomical data and tools to create your own beautiful image of the iconic starburst galaxy M82.

Artist's concept of spacecraft near sun.

NASA to broadcast Sunday’s Solar Orbiter launch

Solar Orbiter – aka SolO – will take the first direct images of the sun’s poles. Following Sunday’s launch, the spacecraft will take a loopy path through the inner solar system, borrowing thrust from the powerful gravitational fields of Earth and Venus.

Viewing map for space launch Sunday, February 9, 2020.

In the US East? Look up for Sunday’s resupply mission launch

A Cygnus resupply spacecraft headed for the International Space Station is scheduled to launch on Sunday, February 9, from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. How and when to watch live in the sky, or on NASA TV.

Poll reveals climate change as most important issue for U.S. adults

A Harris Poll survey – conducted online in December on behalf of the American Psychological Association – reports that more than half of U.S. adults (56%) cite climate change as the most important issue facing the world today.

Congratulations, Christina Koch!

Astronaut Christina Koch has returned to Earth after a record-breaking stay of 328 days aboard the International Space Station. She now holds the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.

Ötzi the Iceman’s final days

Scientists have identified ancient mosses in, on and around the 5,300-year-old glacier mummy that add to the story of the final 48 hours before his murder.

February birthstone is the amethyst

Are you a February baby? Here’s some cool info about your birthstone, the amethyst. Plus pics!

Groundhog Day is an astronomy holiday

Groundhog Day is what’s called a cross-quarter day, a day about midway between a solstice and an equinox. Groundhog Day in history and culture here.

Dignitaries from the Groundhog Club’s “Inner Circle read Phil's prediction from a scroll.

How accurate is Punxsutawney Phil?

Every February 2, a weather-prognosticating groundhog in Pennsylvania tells us if we should expect 6 more weeks of winter or an early spring. Should we believe him? Phil’s track record here.